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Garcia v. Corr. Med. Care, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. New York

March 7, 2017

ZACHARY GARCIA, Plaintiff,
v.
CORR. MED. CARE, INC., Defendant.

          OFFICE OF DAVID H. SWYER, ESQ. Counsel for Plaintiff.

          OFFICE OF ROBERT A. BECHER, ESQ. Co-Counsel for Plaintiff.

          STEINBERG, SYMER & PLATT, LLP Counsel for Defendant.

          OF COUNSEL: DAVID H. SWYER, ESQ. ROBERT A. BECHER, ESQ. ELLEN A. FISCHER, ESQ. JONATHAN E. SYMER, ESQ.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          GLENN T. SUDDABY, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Currently before the Court, in this prisoner civil rights action filed by Zachary Garcia ("Plaintiff") against Correctional Medical Care, Inc. ("Defendant"), pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, is Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (Dkt. No. 10.) For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion is granted.

         I.RELEVANT BACKGROUND

         A. Plaintiff's Complaint

         Generally, in his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges as follows. (Dkt. No. 1.) "[O]n and prior to May 31, 2013, " Plaintiff was confined in the Rensselaer County Jail ("Jail") in Troy, New York. (Id. at ¶ 8.) Plaintiff suffers from a "preexisting traumatic brain injury, a seizure disorder[, ] and other neurological disorders" as the result of a motor vehicle accident. (Id. at ¶ 9.) In light of these conditions, Defendant-which contracted with Rensselaer County to provide health services at the Jail-should have "housed [Plaintiff] on the medical tier" so that he (1) "would not be exposed to the reasonably foreseeable hazards and perils" of being in the Jail's general population, and (2) "could receive immediate medical treatment if required[.]" (Id. at ¶¶ 6-7, 10.)

         However, despite Plaintiff's conditions, he was housed with the Jail's general population. (Id. at ¶ 12.) On May 31, 2013, Plaintiff "sustained severe injuries and damages, " including "loss of consciousness, tinnitus, pneumocephaly in the right frontal lobe and intracranial hemorrhage[, ] necessitating surgical procedures[, ] including a craniotomy." (Id. at ¶ 14.)

         Based upon these factual allegations, Plaintiff asserts two claims: (1) a claim that, by housing him with the Jail's general population, Defendant was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (id. at ¶¶ 19-25); and (2) a claim for medical malpractice under New York State law (id. at ¶¶ 26-29).

         B. Parties' Briefing on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss

         1. Defendant's Memorandum of Law

         Generally, in support of its motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint, Defendant asserts four arguments: (1) Plaintiff has failed to allege facts plausibly suggesting that (a) any of Defendant's nurses or physicians knew of, and intentionally and willfully ignored, a substantial risk of serious harm to him (given that his Complaint "fails to identify or describe any individual actor"), and (b) a causal connection between Defendant's failure to assign him to a medical tier and his injuries (given that his Complaint contains no factual allegations concerning how he was injured); (2) Plaintiff's corporate-liability claim pursuant to Monell (to the extent that Plaintiff may be understood to assert such a claim) must be dismissed because he has failed to allege facts plausibly suggesting the existence of a policy, custom, or practice followed by Defendant and pursuant to which he was injured; (3) the Court should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's medical malpractice claim; and (4) even if the Court exercises supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's medical ...


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